Increase Efficiency of Pharmaceutical IBC Bin Blenders with These 7 Fundamental Safety Features

Do you want to increase the efficiency of your IBC bin blender for pharmaceutical machines?

Well, you need to adopt strict safety standards.

I believe it all starts by sourcing for a pharmaceutical machine with the right safety features. Whether in busy industries or R&D facilities, the number accidents have been attributed to low quality machines.

Take for instance, these accidents statistics from the Eurozone:

Number of accidents at place of work

Number of accidents at place of work

From this data alone, it is quite clear that something should be done.

Don’t just focus on training technicians, but also you need to buy a bin blender for the pharmaceutical industry with the right safety features.

Safety is a very important issue to me. It is the reason why I want to share with you 7 critical safety features every bin blender must have:

#1: An Overload Protection is a Must for IBC Bin Blender for Pharmaceutical Industry

Did you know that the CE regulations require that all electrical equipment must have an overload protection?

The force that rotates the pharmaceutical IBC bin blender is due to an electric motor. Therefore, failure to protect this motor from overloading or fluctuating electrical current can be costly.

So, what do I mean by an overload protector?

This is an electrical device that isolates the bin blender from the electrical supply. That is, it protects the motor from drawing excess current that may lead to motor burn out.

Also, whenever the temperature of the moving parts is high, it automatically shuts down the machine.

This is a wiring diagram of motor overload protector

This is a wiring diagram of motor overload protector. Image source – Beijing Fanyi

Without an overload protection, you’ll be forced to replace your motor, leave alone the high possibility of wear and tear.

I have seen many people trying to modify bin blenders. That is, they buy a low capacity machine, after which, they try to modify it to handle heavy material processing.

This is very wrong. Whenever you do that to a machine, don’t expect it to last for long.

As a general rule that you should master at all times, no machine, should blend more material than the recommended capacity. Moreover, with an overload protection, the pharmaceutical bin blender will only operate within the recommended torque.

This will ensure the stability of the machine. Most definitely, it will definitely serve you for a long period of time.

In short, never buy an IBC bin blender that does not have an overload protector. It is a key safety measure you cannot ignore.

#2: Interlocking is a Critical Safety Measure in IBC Bin Blender

Can you guess why I have this as my point no. 2?

It is one aspect that most people tend to forget. Even the professional bin blender technicians only realize that certain operations or parts were not interlocked after an accident.

Normally, it is so unfortunate.

The concept behind interlocking is that, it makes two or more functions and mechanisms to function mutually dependent.

What do I mean by this?

Let me give you an example of IBC bin blenders for pharmaceutical industry, where certain operations/procedures have been interlocked.

The blender only begins to rotate after the bin reaches a predetermined height (off the ground). Another example is that, the machine cannot lift the bin unless it is positioned correctly.

Moreover, whenever one opens the gate, or moves close to the blending machines, it will automatically turn off. Or, the bin will not turn unless secured or locked appropriately.

You can watch this video to understand what I am trying to explain:

As you can see from the video, the machine only begins to lift the bin after it has been properly secured.

All these require proper programing of the IBC bin blender PLC system, while integrating the sensors.

Basically, this aims to protect the technicians and the machine itself.

#3: Failure Alarm Will Automatically Inform Alert you of Faults

In the pharmaceutical industry, many processes may require your attention. Furthermore, considering that IBC bin blenders for pharmaceutical industries use automated systems you may assume that everything is okay.

In case of low voltage, overloading or any other faults, you can swiftly respond to them when an alarm alerts you. These alarms can be in the form of blinking LED lights or sound.

An arrow showing a control panel

An arrow showing a control panel

So, ensure that your new bin blender has an alarm system to alert you of any abnormality. I find this an obvious way to detect fault whenever something is not right with your machine.

#4: The Design of IBC Bin Blender for Pharmaceutical Industry Should Protect Workers

Your safety and that of the bin blender machine are vital. This is the reason why various government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have strict safety control regulations.

Remember, even the cGMP and CE regulations still reiterate the importance of adhering to the right safety codes.

Johnson's safety slogan

 Here is a summary of Johnson’s safety slogans.

So, how does an IBC bin design guarantee safety of workers?

  • Whenever an alarm activates automatically, you’ll know there is something wrong. Therefore, you’re likely to take the necessary precautions.
  • IBC bin blender come with motion sensors such as the infrared or photoelectric. Whenever they are triggered, either the machine stops or alarm is activated.
  • The door to the machine section is always interlocked with a switch. Therefore, the machine cannot turn on when the door is open. Also, it turns off the machine whenever the door is opened.

All these aim to serve one purpose, to ensure the IBC bin blender operators are safe at all cost.

#5: Isolating Rotary Parts Guarantees Safety of Machine Users

How do the IBC bin blends materials?

Well, it depends on the rotary parts where an electric motor is the prime mover. For the years I have been in the pharmaceutical equipment manufacturing industry, the number accidents are caused by rotary parts of IBC bin blenders machines.


Most people don’t take the warning and safety instructions written on these machines seriously. This is why I insist that the moving parts should be completely isolated.

It is for the same reason that most machines come with motion sensors to detect whether there is anyone moving close to the bin as it rotates.

A bin blender rotating

A bin blender rotating

All rotating parts such as a bin holding system, motor, reducing gears, lifting rod screws and gear transmission mechanism; must be confined with a lockable section.

With this, no one can access them without the authorized permission from a technician in charge.

Furthermore, you should ensure that the rotating parts are stable, safe and controllable. The design of the IBC bin blender for pharmaceutical industry must not have dead angles or exposed screws.

#6: Electricity Protection is Key Safety Measure in IBC Bin Blenders

Do you remember some of the key issues I highlighted when discuss an overload protection?

Here are other essential safety measures every IBC bin should have:

  • Electricity warning and symbols

This will remind you of possible electric shock. Therefore, you can take all the necessary precautions.

electric shock sign

This is an electric shock sign. Image source – Safety Sign

  • Power failure should trigger machine shutdown

The IBC bin blender should automatically shut down whenever there is a power failure. More importantly, the machine must not turn on automatically after restoring power.

You should do it manually. This will protect both technicians and the IBC bin machine.

Apart from these, the emergency stop switch should be accessible. Ensure it is in good working condition.

emergency stop switch

This is an emergency stop switch

I am quite certain that if you consider all these, alongside the instructions in point #1, then there will be no possibility of accidents due to electric fault.

#7: Low Noise and Better Dust Handling Capability are Critical Safety Measure

Your health is equally important as that of the products you intend to process. It is this simple; don’t use a machine that exposes you to any form of risk.

These are some of the major requirements of the cGMP regulations. You can watch this live video of an IBC bin blender machine as it mixes material:

Can you see any dust coming from the machine?

How about the noise level?

Well, you can see that the machine has superior dust handling capability. It is completely sealed to prevent any leakage.

Besides, it guarantees a quiet operation. Normally, you’ll find that the noise level is less than 70dB from a 1m distance.

Generally, this creates a friendly working environment.

Bonus TIPS: Apart from all these 7 safety features of an IBC bin blender for the pharmaceutical industry, you should consider the following:

  • Read and understand user manual of bin blender
  • Always wear protective gear
  • Follow the recommended installation and operation procedures.
  • Maintenance and modification should be done only by authorized persons. You may damage the machine or invalidate the warranty.

When you follow all these simple instructions, I am sure your machine will operate smoothly without possibility of any accidents.


A machine is only considered to be of high quality when it guarantees safety besides the optimal material blending. As a basic rule, whenever you are installing or operating this equipment, remember to follow all the set industrial safety rules and regulations.

In case you have any safety concerns or questions, you can comment in the section below. Don’t hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to assist you.

Further Reading  

  1. Safety Product Use and Selection Guides 
  2. Guide to Machine Safety Standards and Safety Terminology
  3. A Practical Guide to Machine Safety

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